Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pan Roasted Wild Alaskan Cod with Chimichurri Sauce

I had my heart set on halibut but when I got to the store I found the most gorgeous wild Alaskan cod that I couldn't bare to pass up. I always like to go with what looks freshest when I go shopping for seems like common sense but when you have your heart set on something ....sense is no longer common. 

Along with the cod I picked up some local organic fingerling potatoes, a sweet onion, garlic, a shallot, some cherry tomatoes, and a big punch of parsley. I made the chimichurri sauce first as it always tastes better if you let it sit a few hours so that the flavors can combine thoroughly. Before I talk you through the method of making it I should probably explain what it is; chimichurri sauce is originally from Argentina and Uruguay but it can be found as far north as Mexico and Nicaragua. It is usually green, but there are red variations as well and it can be used as a condiment or marinade on meats and seafood alike. OK, so the main ingredients are usually something along the lines of garlic, shallot, parsley, vinegar, oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper. You can combine the ingredients by hand (chop everything up finely first), or by using a food processor, or blender. Once its combined, let me say once again that you want to let it sit for a bit so all those flavors can mesh together. 

Chimichurri Sauce


1 cup fresh parsley 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cilantro (optional)
1 lemon, juiced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 large shallot (or 1 small shallot)
3/4 t crushed red pepper 
1/2 t sea salt
1/8 t pepper

Mix all ingredients together by hand (chop all finely first), in food processor, or in blender. Store in refrigerator but bring back to room temperature before serving

Next for the cod - simply portion your fillets and dredge them lightly in seasoned (sea salt and pepper) flour before pan-roasting them on medium-high heat in butter or olive oil until golden brown on both sides (this only takes a few minutes). You will know the fish is done when it is opaque, firm, and starting to flake a bit.  After you brown each side you can turn the heat off and the residual heat in the pan will finish the cooking process for you. I served my cod over oven roasted fingerling potatoes and sweet onion wedges. For roasted potatoes and onions I cut them in half, tossed them in olive oil, fresh thyme, sea salt, and pepper, and popped them in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes until they were golden and crispy. I topped the cod with a few pan roasted cherry tomatoes that I cooked in a bit of olive oil with sea  salt and pepper. This entire meal took about half an hour to pull together and it was delicious - Light and packed with flavor. What more can you ask for?

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